We all have that friend… That friend, who sits next to you, mouth open, breathing loudly, almost panting. This friend is literally starving for oxygen. For some of us, this friend is our partner and our partner snores excessively at night.
This person (friend or lover) is so disconnected with the natural nasal breathing pattern, that she/he doesn’t even realize they’re breathing through their mouth all day, every day.
Mouth breathing is super common, but common does not mean it’s normal. Mouth breathing is associated with the many adverse consequences listed in the picture above. Put in the work to train yourself to breathe through your nose. Once you start breathing through your nose, your body will start to make adjustments so nasal breathing becomes easier and more subconscious, but it takes time, effort, and intention to make nasal breathing a subconscious habit.
One way to improve your breathing is through Alternate Nasal Breathing AKA Nadi Shodhana Breath. Use the following steps to practice this technique:
1. Find a tall, upright seated posture.
2. Place your left hand in your lab.
3. Bring your right hand to your face and set your middle and index fingers between your eyebrows. You will use your thumb to close your right nostril and your ring finger to close your left nostril.
4. Start with a deep inhale through both nostrils, pause and then exhale through both nostrils.
5. Close your right nostril with your thumb and take a long, slow inhalation through your left nostril.
6. Pause for 5 seconds or as long as is comfortable.
7. Close your left nostril with your ring finger, remove your thumb from your right nostril and exhale through your right nostril.
8. Try to exhale completely.
9. Pause for 5 seconds or as long as is comfortable.
10. Keeping your hands in the same position, inhale through your right nostril, using a long, slow, deep breath.
11. Pause for 5 seconds or as long as is comfortable.
12, Plug your right nose with your thumb again and open your left nostril by lifting your ring finger. Exhale slowly and completely.
13. You have now completed one full cycle of alternate nasal breathing.
14. Complete 10 full cycles (or more or less depending on your goal).
This is a great exercise for reprogramming nasal breathing. Complete this exercise daily and watch your health improve dramatically.